Coffee extraction is the process of extracting the flavor and aromatics from roasted coffee beans in order to produce a delicious and satisfying cup of coffee. There are several factors that can affect the success of the extraction process: mainly the grind size of the coffee beans, the brewing time, and the water temperature.
In this post, we will talk about Grind size.
The grind size of the coffee beans plays a significant role in the extraction process, and it is important to understand how to adjust the grind size to achieve the desired taste.
When coffee beans are ground, the surface area of the beans increases, making it easier for the water to extract the flavors and compounds. The finer the grind, the more surface area is exposed, and the faster the extraction will occur. However, if the grind is too fine, the water will extract too much of the coffee, resulting in a bitter taste. On the other hand, if the grind is too coarse, the water will not extract enough of the coffee, resulting in a weak and underwhelming taste.
For a French press, a coarse grind is recommended (we compare it to raw sugar). The coarse grind allows the coffee to steep in the water for a longer period of time (usually 4-5min), resulting in a full-bodied and rich flavor. For a pour-over, a medium grind is recommended. The medium grind allows for a faster extraction, resulting in a bright and clean flavor. For an espresso, a fine grind is recommended (refined sugar or finer). The fine grind allows for a rapid extraction, resulting in a strong and concentrated flavor.
Coffee extraction is a complex process. We strongly encourage you to play around with the grind size to determine the sweet spot as that can have a significant impact on the final taste of your coffee. As previously mentioned, other factors, such as water temperature and brewing time, also play an important role. We will talk about them in future posts.
Be sure to check our Learn page, where we have step-by-step guidelines for the most popular brew types.